World Series of Poker Europe

Aussie Millions, Heads-Up Day 1a: Nelson, 'Timex', Winston, Kagawa Make Quarterfinals

Aussie Millions, Heads-Up Day 1a: Nelson, 'Timex', Winston, Kagawa Make Quarterfinals 0001

32 top pros each ponied up $5,300 on the first of two starting days of the 2008 Aussie Millions Heads-Up Championship (Event #13). Each round was played in a best-of-three format, where the first player to win twice progressed to the next round. With a big buy-in and an aggressive format, the field was stacked with some of the biggest name in live and online play, including Annette 'Annette_15' Obrestad, Jeff Madsen, Paul 'kwickfish' Wasicka and Rafe Furst.

Furst was the first competitor to make Round 2, dispatching Steve Zolotow in minutes to take his opening match, 2-0. Lee 'Final Table' Nelson went 2-0 in his first match as well, eliminating Justin Schwartz to make it into Round 2. The full Round 1 results were as follows:

Josh Field def. Terje Augdal (2-1)

Lee Nelson def. Justin Schwartz (2-0)

Eric Hershler def. David Singer (2-0)

Paul Wasicka def. Sorel Mizzi (2-0)

Tony Bloom def. Alex Keating (2-0)

Harry Demetriou def. Jon Van Fleet (2-0)

Roy Winston def. Emanuel Seat (2-0)

Jamie Pickering def. Annette Obrestad (2-1)

Michael Watson def. Doug Lee (2-1)

Anna Wroblewski def. Jeff Madsen (2-0)

Ralph Burd def. Sarah Bilney (2-1)

Michael McDonald def. Sergey Rybachenko (2-1)

Jan Suchanek def. Zachary Clark (2-0)

Masaaki Kagawa def. Josh Egan (2-0)

Florian Langmann def. Mark Flowers (2-0)

Rafe Furst def. Steve Zolotow (2-0)

Round 2 started off much like Round 1, with Rafe Furst and Lee Nelson knocking out their opponents 2-0 to make it through to Round 3. Roy 'The Oracle' Winston joined them when he took out Jamie Pickering 2-0, and Lee Nelson's Round 3 opponent was set when Eric Hershler took out Paul Wasicka 2-0 to move into the money round.

Also in Round 2, Michael 'Timex' McDonald came from behind to take out Ralph Burd 2-1 to make it to Round 3, where his roommate Michael Watson waited after defeating Anna Wroblewski. Harry Demetriou earned his place in Round 3 by finishing off Tony Bloom 2-0 and Round 3 was soon set with these matchups:

Rafe Furst v. Masaaki Kagawa

Michael 'Timex' McDonald v. Michael Watson

Lee 'Final Table' Nelson v. Eric Hershler

Roy 'The Oracle' Winston v. Harry Demetriou

Masaaki Kagawa was the first to finish Round 3, knocking out Rafe Furst 2-0 to make Round 4. Winston followed shortly behind, defeating Demetriou 2-0 to preserve his perfect record going into the next round. Lee Nelson also made it through by ousting Eric Hershler, leaving Round 4 awaiting the outcome of the McDonald/Watson match, though actually, there was quite a bit of waiting for the onset of the match as well. Watson and McDonald, good friends away from the felt, went on a dinner break after getting their draws for Round 3, and were not back by the time the other matches started. They actually weren't back by the time the other matches finished, either. Just before the event was called off for the day, McDonald and Watson made it back to the tournament area to start their match. The final match of the day was also the longest, with Watson making a solid comeback in the second game before falling short to McDonald 2-0.

The final four players will meet on Saturday, along with the four survivors of the Day 1b field, to play out the quarterfinal matches and move on to the semifinal and final rounds. Here are the quarterfinal pairings for the surviving Day 1a foursome:

Lee Nelson v. Roy Winston

Michael McDonald v. Masaaki Kagawa

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